POLITICS

Judges Dismiss All Ethics Complaints Against Brett Kavanaugh

The federal court panel said it lacked the jurisdiction to weigh in on the 83 complaints against the new Supreme Court justice.

A panel of federal judges announced Tuesday that it is dismissing all of the 83 ethics complaints brought against Justice Brett Kavanaugh regarding his behavior during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

Their dismissal did not question the validity of the complaints but concluded that lower-court judges do not have the authority to investigate or punish Supreme Court justices. 

The complaints about Kavanaugh generally alleged that he lied during his nomination proceedings, made “inappropriate partisan statements that demonstrate bias and a lack of judicial temperament” and was disrespectful to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his September hearing, the panel’s decision noted.

But because the panel concluded that it lacked the jurisdiction to act on the complaints’ merits, it chose to dismiss all of them. The judges cited the 1980 Judicial Conduct and Disability Act in that decision, which exempts Supreme Court justices from the judiciary’s disciplinary laws.

Anyone who filed complaints may petition the decision for a review within 42 days. 

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